DOTTY MCLEOD: It is Budget day. Expect a deluge of numbers, financial forecasts and possibly the news of more cuts from the Chancellor. One proposal that’s been leaked is that every school will have to become an academy by the year 2022. The Government says that under the plans they’ll have more freedom over their admissions policy, the curriculum and national rules on staff pay. Labour warn there’s little evidence it’ll lead to a better school system, saying there are still many problems in academy schools. Kevin Courtney from the National Union of Teachers is calling the move a disgrace.
KEVIN COURTNEY: The real problems facing schools and parents now are the chronic teacher shortage, the lack of school places, and the funding crisis that’s about to engulf schools. So this is a complete distraction. Government should be looking at those issues. This is a recipe for privatisation, and it should be resisted by people who look at evidence.